Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says the economic stimulus package passed during the first weeks of the Obama Administration has had "disastrous" consequences.
Huckabee, the Republican winner of the 2008 Iowa Caucuses, was today’s keynote speaker at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s annual meeting in Okoboji.
"I’m not here to be partisan, but I just want to point out an observation because George Bush gets blamed for a lot of things — but in less than six months the new president has run up a debt for this country that is more than all of the other presidents combined in the history of the United States," Huckabee said.
Huckabee is no fan of the bailout for the financial industry which was enacted in the closing weeks of the Bush Administration either. Huckabee argued it’s time to change the approach governments at all levels take to try to spur the economy.
"The issues that matter in job creation is not simply bringing an initial infusion of capital," Huckabee said. "It’s about looking at the great capacity of the human capital — of knowing that there well-educated, healthy, honest people who can go to work and creatively get the job done."
Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, is an advocate of a national "consumption tax." He would junk the income tax and replace it with a sales tax. It’s an idea he touted during his speech to Iowa business executives.
"We have $13 trillion parked offshore and American companies legally, and even understandably, have parked it there because they’re trying to escape the American tax system and how harsh it is. What would happen if there weren’t any tax consequences to the assets of a U.S. company or for that matter any company? Capital would come roaring back into this nation and I would imagine that $13 trillion of working capital would do a lot more good than all the stimulus bills put together and our grandkids wouldn’t be put in debt for it," Huckabee said. "That would make a lot more sense to me."
Late this afternoon, Huckabee headlined a fundraiser in Spirit Lake for Bob Vander Plaats, who will likely run for governor in 2010. In 2007, Vander Plaats endorsed Huckabee’s bid for the White House.
Huckabee dismisses the idea his visit to Iowa is a signal he’s going to run again for president, noting that he has recently signed a longterm contract to continue hosting a weekly program on the FOX News Channel.